Kukla's Korner

Bruins Should Blame Themselves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

As soon as I'm done with this, I will have to battle the irresistible urge to call one of the Boston sports-talk radio stations and whine. ("Long-time listener, first-time caller, thanks for taking my call, hey, I mean, I gotta tell ya, was Mike O'Connell getting consulting advice from Theo Epstein on this one since Theo doesn't have anything to do these days?") It comes down to this: The Bruins are blaming Joe Thornton.
continued from the Daily News,
Most hockey folks thought that would mean one of these three options: fire head coach Mike Sullivan; fire general manager Mike O'Connell; or fire both Sullivan and O'Connell. Instead, the Bruins brass decided to deal away Thornton — the player they inked to a three-year, $20 million dollar contract just 113 days ago — and get what they could for him.
more

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Koivu Out With Groin Strain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens will be without captain Saku Koivu tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre. Koivu, with one assist in the last five games, is suffering a groin injury and the team will call up a player from Hamilton of the AHL. The Montreal Gazette reports that Koivu left practice early Wednesday after feeling what head coach Claude Julien described as "a twinge" in his groin. It's a recurring problem that Koivu has reportedly been been playing through.

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Brule Has Stress Fracture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft pick Gilbert Brule suffered a stress fracture of the fibula during Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks, according to MOJO 730 in Vancouver. The 19-year-old centre played just over 11 minutes in Wednesday's contest against the Minnesota Wild but complained of pain following the 3-2 victory. He took a couple of shifts early in the third period and then came out for about 10 seconds just after the midway point of the third and then was done for the night.

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Luongo Chats With Old Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel,

Sunday, less than 24 hours after he allowed four goals on 20 shots in Atlanta, a discouraged Roberto Luongo picked up the phone and dialed his former goalie coach, Clint Malarchuk, in Nevada. Not to talk hockey, Malarchuk said. Just to talk, for the first time since the summer, when coach Jacques Martin replaced Malarchuk with Phil Myre and Luongo found out from a reporter while on his honeymoon. Asked if he was disappointed about Malarchuk's departure, Luongo said, "That's a given. Clint is my very good friend, and he knew me and knew how to handle me. It was disappointing to see him go because we had such a good relationship."
read on

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The Shock Value

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The shock value of a trade like the Joe Thornton to San Jose trade is pretty unbelievable. We knew that the Boston Bruins were in dire straits. Maybe firing the general manager or the coach wouldn't have surprised anybody. We knew the San Jose Sharks were in dire straits, but what we didn't think was that the Bruins would trade the face of their franchise and their number one overall pick from 1997.
more added 9:03am, from the Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe,
Thornton was always a polite and accommodating kid. In my limited dealings with him, I found him both likable and respectful. He was neither duplicitous nor difficult. And yet, as I walked away, I couldn't help but feel something was . . . missing. He was too nice. He simply did not exhibit the killer instinct that elevates a very fine player to a feared and invaluable superstar. He should have been a leader, but he never was. He was too laid-back to fit the bill. Obviously the Bruins have come to the same conclusion.
more

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Keep The Plan In Place (Don’t Fire Me)

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

The temptation is to nod in agreement or, at least, in sympathy when Panthers coach Jacques Martin says what he says standing in a BankAtlantic Center hallway. "You have to establish a strong base and build on it," is what Martin said Wednesday afternoon. "It's very important for the organization to keep the plan in place." The problem, as Martin understood before taking the Panthers job, is that this seems to be something along the lines of Plan Wilma in the Florida process. The franchise, like the just-concluded hurricane season, must be about to run out of names for its strategies. And whatever the plan is, it isn't working.
read on

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Pat Burns Battles Every Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Come the weekend, Pat Burns will saddle his Harley and roar off down the road. But not into the sunset. Not yet. And Monday morning, the former Maple Leaf coach will submit to yet another round of intensive, debilitating chemotherapy. Then he'll come home, likely spend the whole day shivering in bed, vomiting repeatedly. "The stuff's poison, right? After the past year, my body's full of poison. It knocks the s--- out of me."
more

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Jeremy Jacobs Is The Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams of Sportsnet,

The Bruins have become and will remain a laughingstock as long as Jeremy Jacobs is in charge. Jeremy Jacobs took the easy way out when the hawkish owner of the Boston Bruins gave his seal of approval on the trade that sent Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks. If Jacobs was at all keen on seeing the Bruins resume their once-familiar role as a Stanley Cup contender, he would have cleaned house. He would have fired the coaching staff, canned General Manager Mike O'Connell, President and alleged elder statesman Harry Sinden and then sold the team and let new blood take over.
read on

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Blockbuster Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

In an effort to shake up their struggling franchise, the Boston Bruins have dealt away their star player. Sportsnet has learned the San Jose Sharks have traded Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau to Boston for Joe Thornton.
update 10:03pm, via TSN,
Thornton was a restrcited free agent and signed a 3-year, $20 million deal with the Bruins and is scheduled to make $6.66 million this season. Sturm is making $2 million this season, Stuart $1.9 million and Primeau $1.1 million.
update 10:19pm, via Slam,
Thornton, 26, is a three-time all-star who had nine goals and 24 assists in 23 games this season for the Bruins. The six-foot-four, 223-pound power forward is due to make $6.66 million US this year. "He is a leader who scores points and makes other players around him better," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "To get a player of this calibre, you have to give up something to get something. You would make this trade last month, this month or next year. It follows our philosophy of making our team better for this year and next year."
via the Boston Bruins,
The Boston Bruins have acquired defenseman Brad Stuart and forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Joe Thornton, it was announced tonight by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell. All three players are expected in the Boston lineup Thursday night when the Bruins host the Ottawa Senators at TD Banknorth Garden at 7:00 p.m. More to come...
update 10:25pm, via the San Jose Sharks,
Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson pulled off maybe the biggest trade in Sharks history Wednesday night when he acquired perennial All-Star center Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins. The transaction came with a price as San Jose moved wingers Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau, along with defenseman Brad Stuart. However when all is said and done, the best player landed in the Bay Area.
more update 10:33pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In Thornton, the Sharks received the player chosen first overall in the 1997 entry draft, just ahead of Patrick Marleau, their top scorer. The two are virtually mirror images of one another in terms of size and scoring ability and immediately give the Sharks one of the best one-two punches down the middle of any team in the NHL.
read on update 10:45pm, from the Mercury News,
"This is a dominant player in the league," Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said. "We're excited to get him. But Boston is getting very good players who are great people that have done wonderful things for this organization. I have very, very mixed emotions right now. But it's not often that a player like Joe Thornton becomes available. "As I've always said, we're looking for people at the right age that fit, and our goal is to win the championship. I know Boston is getting players that will help them accomplish the same thing."
continued update 11:03pm, The Sharks will have a press conference with Thornton participating by phone at about 11:15pm EST. tonight. I am sure PJ at Sharks Page will be covering this throughout the night, while Jaci at Wicked Bruins Fan is still in shock. update 11:08pm, from the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose is struggling to find goals right now, but the addition of Thornton will provide some much needed relief. Plus Thornton knows what the Sharks lineup can do when they have everything rolling. “I watched them in the playoffs last year,” said Thornton. “They are a great team with great goaltending.” The combination of Thornton and Marleau could give the Sharks the NHL’s best one-two combination up the middle. “I’ve known Patty a long time,” said Thornton. “I think the world of him as a person and a hockey player. Hopefully it will be a good combination.” “It’s tough never playing anywhere but Boston, but I know Patty (Marleau), Hannan and obviously Scott is there,” said Thornton. “It is tough, but it is exciting. A couple of guys have come over tonight and they’ve been traded two to three times. They told me I’m lucky this is my first time.”
update 11:30pm, Goodnight!!! (will open wmp audio)

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Mario Helps With A Dream

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Cancer is a scary word to anyone. Mitch Konkle gets a little relief and inspiration knowing Mario Lemieux overcame that dreaded six-letter term. Konkle, a 9-year-old from Michigan, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June. One thing that’s kept him fighting is the knowledge that his hero, Lemieux, battled and beat Hodgkin’s disease.
continued

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